KPI Monitoring Software
Welcome to our fifth and final article in our series about Key Performance Indicators. For this final topic, we turn our attention to the advantages of KPI monitoring software.
Remember, before these sophisticated automated software tools existed, organisations were forced to use a dedicated skilled resource in the collection, analysis and production of KPIs. This was extremely time-consuming and laborious and the risks of human error were high. Additionally, managers were unable to drill down into underlying data or further interrogate areas of interest without putting in a request for further work, with the accompanying time lag. The net effect was a difficulty in getting to the bottom of issues in a timely fashion. And a challenge in obtaining the necessary data needed to make rapid and intelligent management decisions. Especially where remedial action was required. Or fast response to capitalise on an opportunity.
Yesterday’s methods are no longer fit for purpose
The fact is, big organisations cannot be run on the basis of spreadsheets and presentations. Even with the laborious scenario described above, a way of working that may have been recognisable five years ago simply will not be fit for purpose today. Today’s business world is highly competitive and digitally connected, with an expectation that real-time information can be mined and made available for analysis at the click of a button. Additionally, most organisations now have ERP, CRM and other systems that may already be integrated – making it easy to add an automated reporting tool and representing a huge opportunity cost if this facility is left unrealised.
Investing for success
Businesses with a true desire to remain competitive must invest in the necessary responsive and dedicated software that will offer the functionality that they need to manage KPIs. The right system will ideally be designed to support the broader Balanced Scorecard methodology of business performance management for an integrated solution that adds real value to the strategic business planning process. This starting point alone offers a powerful capability to manage the business in a modern, data-driven way that can help to drive a competitive advantage.
Selecting the right KPI management software
So how can you pick the right KPI management tool for your organisation? The obvious choice for some organisations is to simply look for the most cost-effective solution, but the old adage of ‘getting what you pay for’ will hold true. If strategic business planning is at the heart of your organisation, then it makes sense to invest in the tools that will support your business journey. A far better approach is to start by identifying the features that you would want your KPI reporting software to possess, and then select the best option accordingly. Examples of the functionality you will want to secure include:
Quick, simple and intuitive
For your new software to be adopted internally, it needs to be easy and fast to install, simple to integrate with existing ERP and CRM systems and intuitive to use, especially when it comes to building scorecards and dashboards. Look for systems that offer a free trial to explore the functionality and see how much training and support your business would need to get up and running.
Your KPI scorecard will present 3-4 themes, the KPI measures and their accompanying objectives. The system must have the flexibility to offer different degrees of complexity according to context and requirement.
Dashboard views gather local scorecards together into a single information view, and good systems should make this easy to do, providing a variety of widget-based charts, diagrams, free text areas and graphics which are highly usable without being overwhelming. Additionally, the system should be capable of producing strategy maps, which are used to manage the Balanced Scorecard method of performance management.
This is standard functionality that should be definable at individual and systemic levels. The former will flag up when a KPI exceeds its threshold and the latter will prompt users to update metrics on defined due dates. The system should also allow for the rapid creation of a remedial task to tackle a KPI which falls out of its tolerance limit.
Briefings and cascade scorecards
Good systems will allow a master scorecard to be created with cascade versions which can be customised to their destination department. Additionally, they will support the briefing creation process with templates for reports that include different types of graphs, reports and maps for presentation purposes.
Responsive, robust and secure
The system should also work seamlessly on mobile devices for interrogation and access on the go. It should provide bulk data integration and advanced user security features for secure access and management.
We are pleased to recommend Spider Impact as a software package that provides these features, plus more. Our clients have used the software to great effect, whether they are rapidly growing commercial startups or large public organisations. To find out more or to enjoy a free trial or demonstration, please contact our team today.